09 May 2005

I don't want a pickle

MKB has some fine words about riding a motorcycle.
Some of that connection is because the rider has no physical separation from the surroundings. Some of it is simply due to presence of mind. It takes a whole lot more skill to operate a motorcycle than to operate a car, and the cost of a mistake is a whole lot higher, so motorcyclists had better be attentive.

...which leads me to another reason I ride. Fear. "Aren’t you afraid?" my Aunt Madeleine asked. Of course I am. The day I stop being afraid and start approaching riding in a cavaleer way, it will be time for me to stop. The fear of crashing keeps me doing the things that make me safer.

In addition to inducing mindfulness, fear has it’s own value. While I don’t enjoy bowel-loosening terror, I do enjoy facing up to my fears and overcoming them. I see so many people whose llves are stifled and dominated by fear. Arguably we all are at one time or another. I am convinced that regularly spending some time owning my fear and facing up to it makes me a stronger person in the rest of my life.

He also has some other interesting things to say, plus a lovely quote from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance, the book that originally got me motorcycle dreamin'.

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